Welcome, formerly known as 'Salford Swim Swim'. This is a Manchester blog about running and swimming and random stuff. Oh and mental health, it is good to be mentally healthy. Which we of course are not.......so if you're not too then check this out.........Moodswings

Sunday, 21 April 2013

London Marathon 2013 - Good luck Kath you fool

Today is Kath's big day, as I write this from my toasty bed with my little kitten snoring next to me this in no way a euphemism, I actually have a Burmese kitten Kath will be shuffling along with 35,000 others in the start of the London Marathon.

The start of the race is the worst, for one you're shitting yourself, your heart starts beating faster. Nervous tension takes over and despite 50 priors wee's you will undoubtedly get a sudden urge to use the toilet - either for a non existent wee (because you expelled any liquid from your body in the previous 50 urinations) or because you're about to experience nervous diarrhoea.

You're usually freezing and fall victim to the flimsiness of your breathable clothes and your forced to engage in small talk with all the other folks around you.  Something that Kath will hate.

Race starts pretty much resemble a EDL rally being kettled into a pig pen.  I haven't been in one race yet where someone hasn't farted.

Despite this, when the gun goes off and you start shuffling along with thousands of others there is a sudden rush of adrenaline that tells you 'this is it, this is what I've been training for'. That feeling is hard to beat and despite my jibes I am so jealous of Kath right now.

Kath is one of the most inspirational people I know. She has trained for this marathon with little warning and has done so with the same determination she used to give up drinking.  26.2 miles is a bloody long way and every mile she runs she will do with Moodswings in mind.

If you want to read Kath's story you can do in this blog and if you want to donate you can do here...

I can't write this without a little mention of my other pal Sarah Leech, little Leechie only has short legs and she has been busting a gut training to raise funds for the Christie Cancer Hospital in Manchester. Her dedication is no less impressive that Kath's, she's a quiet little hero but a hero nevertheless.

Well done Leechie, I am tremendously proud of you.

You can read Sarah's story here, if you can throw her some money she would appreciate it -

Good luck birds, I am thinking of you both and if Kath didn't have a text from me saved in her phone (saying I will never do a marathon) I would have been there with you.

One of these days I am going to get all my gammy limbs fixed so I can run that frigging race.

Big hugs out to Boston as well, it seems wrong not thinking of them today. Don't pick on marathon runners, they are the strongest people going.

Peace out

Sammy  xxxx

on second thoughts I take it all back, I'm staying in bed with this chap..

Friday, 19 April 2013

Team Lucozade

So I'm getting ready to go to London to be part of Team Lucozade Sport (or procastinating about getting ready, which is almost the same thing).

I should mention that Lucozade Sport have been sending me lots of free stuff to get me through the training. In fact I've been living off their products for some time now.

I've been using the gels and drinks when I've done longer runs to get used to them for The Run Itself. The gels taste of undiluted orange squash which reminds me of vodka and orange and is therefore really quite exciting. I've no idea if they actually give you an energy boost, but there's the possibility they might have done and that helps.

They've also sent me a London Marathon running top which is really super comfy for running in. I could be tempted by more of this Adidas Supernova stuff if I had a running stuff shopping obsession which obviously I don't.

Sam needs to get used to this view for the future

People should see me coming anyway. Or if they don't, they'll certainly see me leave.


Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Monday, 15 April 2013

The Joys of Running

Still reeling from my, erm, good fortune at winning a place on the London Marathon I set about training for the big day. 

I couldn’t find any plans that recommended training for a marathon in 10 weeks. The majority suggested, really quite firmly, that you needed 14 weeks. Myasics.com reckoned it was possible in 12 weeks, provided you didn’t do anything really silly like starting two weeks in, so I went with that one and started two weeks in.  

Fortunately I was really well prepared, having spent the winter Internet shopping for running stuff that Sam had told me I didn’t need. All I had to do now was get out there and try to remember what I love about running.

Things I do not love about running

Bloody hell it hurts. Every step.

Two main things really.

One - they drive from miles around to turn down side streets that no one has driven down for literally months, just as I need to cross, every fricking time. This means stopping. Stopping running is not a good plan. You realise exactly how much it all hurts when it stops.

Two – when it is dark they come and park right on the pavement at breakneck speed. This is unexpected, what the pavement having been built for pedestrians, and not as a carpark.

I hold my hands up – I ride a bike myself. And when I’m on a bike I obviously hate runners, it's the law. What I do not do is ride in a vague zigzag along the pavement. Texting. I also do not go up the side of a lane of traffic, jump a red light and then shout abuse at a runner crossing the road. Just saying.

Mo Farah doesn't have to put up with this nonsense

I’m sure your dog is very friendly, and it’s really cute that it bounds over to say hello. It doesn’t matter at all that it’s baring its teeth at me, nor that it has tried to trip me over, twice, and those muddy pawprints look great on my new compression tights. I can darn the hole. Oh good, it’s coming back to do the same again. Put it on a lead seeing as it doesn’t do one thing you say? Oh no, surely not.

Beauty Spots
There are miles and miles of pathways pretty much from my door, going across the Greater Manchester conurbation in all directions. The number of places I can get to, off road, is staggering. The scenery is spectacular, and I'm forever finding new places (OK, so I get lost. Often.) So why does everyone from a ten mile radius need to congregate at one particular place and stay within a mile of the car just because there are a few ducks and an ice cream van? That is not a day out in the countryside. You might as well go to the Trafford Centre.



Sunday, 14 April 2013

It's Good to Talk

I was just at work trying to work out what Sam was singing this time and wishing she’d stop, when my mobile went. An unknown number. Clearly one of the kids was in trouble. Again.

Mentally working out the train times, telling my boss I had to go and putting my coat on I answered in my best I Am a Responsible Mother At All Times Even When I Am At Work Voice. Some chap started talking. “Blah, blah, blah sports” he said. 

Not the kids then. They don’t do sport. Must be something I’ve ordered online. Something completely essential that I can’t quite remember ordering. I should probably cancel it while I’ve got him on the phone.

Then he mentioned parkrun, and I started listening. He was talking about the Lucozade Sports “Chase the Place” competition they’d had at the end of last year. To enter you had to participate in the last 6 parkruns of 2012. 

Coincidentally at much the same time I realised I’d done 43 parkruns and, if I did all the intervening runs, I’d run my 50th on New Year’s Day. The Big 50 is a big deal in parkrun – you get a T-shirt with 50 on it and a sense of belonging to something amazing and a huge dash of smugness particularly on New Year’s Day when everyone else is in bed with a hangover. I have been known to get a bit obsessive about things like that (occasions, not T-shirts) so there was really never any doubt that I would run these particular six runs.  

The prize was a place in the London Marathon, and the Man From Lucozade Sports was ringing to say I’d won! 

I got off the phone. Sam was doing her “Kath’s got to do a Marathon” dance round the office. The news started to sink in. I was currently running 3 miles three or four times a week. I now had to get so I could run 26.2 miles, all in one go, in ten weeks. 

Oh bother.



Tuesday, 2 April 2013


Skinny tomato and roasted aubergine soup recipe

Skinny tomato and roasted aubergine soup recipe

........because I am recovering from an operation I haven't been allowed to do any exercise (though I did go on the exercise bike at the gym and then got told off by Kath but she ain't the boss of me. Well technically she is but whatever).

So I was a  bit scared of getting fat whilst I was recuperating*.

 *watching 'This Morning' and other such television shite.

Therefore, I decided to embark on a healthy eating slash calorie controlled misery to prevent myself from getting so fat that they would have to remove my bedroom window just to get me out of the house to go to work.

And it has worked, I am half a stone lighter and this is going to help me smash Kath into the ground come August when we triathonathonalanon or whatever the word is.

So here is a little low fat soup recipe I botched together. I worked out on my fitness pal (app) that per serving it's about 128 calories per serving but you can probably get this down some more if you use fry light to sweat your onions.

Yabba, yabba - here is the recipe already.


1 can of peeled plum tomatoes (I used Morrisons Italian plum)
1 onion
1/3 aubergine (chopped into cubes)
1 garlic clove
1 vegetable stock cube
Pinch of chilli
Pinch of cumin
1 tsp sunflower oil
400ml boiling water (approx)

Directions -

Roast or grill the aubergine for approx 10 mins or until slightly brown.
Sweat the onions and garlic in a pan until soft.
Add tomatoes, spices, stock and bring to the boil for approx 5 mins.
Add the roasted aubergine and cook for a further 3-5 mins.
Blend with a stick blender.

(Serves - 2 - 128 calories approx)

Easy peasy, it tastes as good as Heinz soup I reckon and is probably better for you.



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